By Hiba Khan
This morning I saw a wasp on my patio, exhausted and weak from relentlessly buzzing in circles, no doubt seeking plants, flowers and home. But tracing the same paths back and forth, again and again, had left it frustrated and trapped on the concrete; a self-made prison. After a few minutes, it snapped out of this trance and veered left discovering a dying potted plant on the patio floor. No doubt it was delighted with its discovery; even a single wilting and diseased flower felt lavish and verdant in comparison to the seemingly endless tiles on the ground. My heart went out to the little creature and I knew it would be far happier and better off at the back of the garden, where there are beautiful wildflowers, roses and lavender, and where the other wasps and bees live. I did not know how this one had managed to stray so far from home, but I had no doubt whatsoever that it would not survive on this rotten plant on the patio.
I tried to encourage it off the sickly flower with a couple of leaves, intending to carry it to the lush greenery further back, but it would not cooperate. This was understandable. It had finally found respite from the harsh slabs of flooring, after much frustration and toil, and now it was being forced away. It struggled and fought with all its little body had left to remain with its prize. Each time I tried to pry it onto my leaf it would scramble away, and eventually tried to hide.
I wished I could communicate with the wasp to explain my intention; to tell it to trust me, because I could see much further. I was taking it to a better place, that I knew it would thank me for. I wanted it to know that there was abundance, beauty, sustenance and far more hope if it would only surrender and climb aboard.
The wasp reminded me of myself not too long ago; short-sighted, fearful of vulnerability and uncertainty. Content to settle for what seemed like the safer, easier option because I was paralysed by fear of what potentially lay ahead. Eventually, the wasp gave in and sat still on the leaf while I took it and set it down amongst its family, in what was a paradise compared to my patio. It must have been annoyed, terrified and confused. It may have cried, trembled or even felt despairing at points along the walk to the back of the garden, but it came nonetheless. In the end, it was gently given more than its tiny mind could have ever imagined. All because it trusted, hoped and let me carry it there.
We are told constantly to place our trust in Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He). With every prayer, we affirm our reliance; but how many of us fully and truly submit and surrender, in utter hope and certainty that He can see further than us and He knows better? He is perfect, merciful and knows of all the metaphorical gardens we may be seeking, in this life and the next. He never empties our hands of anything except in His infinite wisdom, to replace it with something better. We are short-sighted; we can only see the flower we are currently on, and often cannot fathom the beauty He may be pushing us towards instead.
“And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him.” (Qur’an 65:3)
May we all be granted the courage and guidance to be freed from the shackles of fear and doubt, and to trust and rely wholly on the All-Powerful, the All-Wise, the All-Compassionate.